Day 57 – Three things…

Emma Mitchell By

Day 57 – Three things…

In the last couple of days there have been a couple of exciting occurrences on board Doris. Firstly, last night we passed the 500 miles to go to Hawaii mark according to our chart plotter (and our guesstimate of exactly where the Hawaii Yacht Club is). In celebration we had a ceremonial changing of our watches on to Hawaii time having left them in San Francisco time since our departure. The winds have picked up substantially and we are surfing some big waves at speed in the right direction with even stronger winds to come. Tony and Lizanne have booked their flights to come and meet us and so it looks like we might actually be nearly there!

The second exciting occurrence also happened last night. You may remember from one of my previous blogs 8 days ago that we spoke to a cargo ship called Mokihana who had come to look for us and say hello on their journey between Honolulu and Long Beach. Well last night they passed us on their return journey and this time came close for a proper greeting. They started chatting to Nat on the VHF and then after our changeover I took over on the radio. Very kindly they wanted to deliver us a care package of fresh fruit and vegetable and candy. However we had to explain that we can’t receive anything on board without losing our unsupported status so they settled for coming alongside us with all their lights on, signaling to us with a torch and giving us a blast on their horn. It totally made our night and we feel like we have made some new friends. The Mokihana will be passing us again on Sunday on their way back which is something to look forward to but even more excitingly Katie the second mate is being left behind in Hawaii and has promised to deliver our care package in person when we arrive at the Hawaii Yacht Club. It’s amazing that even out here in the middle of the ocean we can still find new supporters and we’re really grateful to them for taking the time to come over chat to us and follow our journey.

The final incident of interest happened 2 days ago when Izz and I were rowing in the late afternoon shift. We have seen a lot more birds in recent days and had been enjoying watching a frigate dive down to the water to fish and then chase a flying fish as it flew and catch it in its beak. Then I suddenly heard a cry of ‘to the right’ from Izz and turned to see what can only be described as a flock of at least a hundred large flying fish soaring through the air towards us. It was a pretty amazing sight all with their outstretched wings although there was only a second to appreciate it before we had to duck to avoid being hit round the head by them. Amazingly only one landed on the boat and I managed to save him quickly and get him back in the water. Although I’m glad we experienced the flock of fish moment I’ll be quite happy when we are out of flying fish territory as having them land on you at regular intervals throughout the night, having to clean the deck and the smell of fish in the morning is getting a bit old!

Spirits are high on Doris and we are all looking forward to reaching land in about 10 days time when we can have a shower and some real food. However we are also being careful not to wish away our final days as a crew before Lizanne replaces Izzy and to continue to enjoy and appreciate our time on the ocean. Here’s to a fun and fast final (hopefully only) 10 days!



  1. Jim Andrews says:

    Great progress, I imagine you are rowing with renewed vigour now that the end of this leg is almost in sight. I have followed your progress every day since your departure and continue to admire and respect every one of you. Enjoy your last few days together and the fantastic achievement that completing this first leg, is. Stay safe. XX

  2. karl says:

    Congratulations on your 60 nm day!
    That has got to feel good go that fast and far towards your first destinstion.

    Great job!

  3. Simon TY says:

    Back from fabulous week in Norfolk with Mum and Dad. The first time my three children been together with their grandparents for that length of time. Brilliant. Sorry, for personal detail but after 15 years of waiting, nice that Georgina ( look at the name on yr Wall) can spend decent time with me/us.

    You are so close now. do, in yr blogs, comment on the changes. Birds will arrive; live driftwood; presumably you see clouds, then a volcano peak, then days later the shore ? How far away do you see the highest peak ?

    Be safe. Make Izzy feel really special. Know that lots of people ( including freighters) are keeping an eye on you. God speed and safely

  4. Johnnie says:

    Faster than a speeding bullet……wow! I can’t imagine what it must be feeling like to be able to smell the end of the leg. As I look again at the track from the start and to be honest the barking lunacy of your quest – it makes me feel guilty for ever doubting your success.
    Brilliant, amazing, humbling.

    Keep on rocking

  5. Pete Mewton says:

    Your descriptions of your daily experiences are an amazing insight for us ordinary mortals of intrepid oceanic rowing. Thankyou for enriching our lives. And being examples to us all of the possibilities in life if you have a “can do” attitude. AND…What the hell is it like surfing down a big wave IN A ROWING BOAT???

  6. Simon Jones says:

    Keep on rowing guys! I met Lizanne in Cape Town who told me of your challenge. Stay safe and keep a good look out for vessels – they may not always see you. Cheers!

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